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Billy Dukes

Billy Dukes' music background includes jobs as Music Director and night DJ at WQDR 94.7 in Raleigh, N.C., writer for Recoil Magazine, a monthly out of Grand Rapids, Mich., and writer for the Kalamazoo Gazette, in Kalamazoo, Mich. The Western Michigan University graduate followed a girl to Raleigh in 2006, and wisely married her one year later. They live in northeast Wake County with their two dogs Daisy and Clementine and their son. In his free time Billy enjoys playing and watching baseball, cycling, and exploring nature.
Scotty McCreery
Frazier Harrison, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Lands No. 1 Country Album in America

Scotty McCreery is back on top. 'See You Tonight' has become his second straight album to debut at No. 1 on the country album charts, selling just over 52,000 copies in its first week in stores and at digital retailers. That's 10Kmore than Willie Nelson, whose 'To All the Girls' ranked second.

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Country Kid
Can You Guess Who This Is?
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Can You Guess Which Country Artist This Kid Grew Up to Be?

This cutie with a helmet of chestnut brown hair would grow up to be one of the most beautiful women in country music. Her early '90s style is your first clue as to who this singer might be. Don't pay attention to the word on her shirt, however. Even she doesn't know what it means. Do you think you recognize this future star?

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Category: News
Scotty McCreery
Jason Merritt, Getty Images
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Scotty McCreery Talks Junk Foods, Dance Moves + New Season of ‘American Idol’ During ToC Twitter Takeover

Fans learned some new things about Scotty McCreery on Tuesday (Oct. 22). The singer took over Taste of Country's Twitter page for 30 minutes before a show at the N.C. State Fair, just to answer fan questions. His responses were as entertaining as the questions.

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Taylor Swift
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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2013 CMA Awards Predictions

Predicting who will win the nine major honors at the 2013 CMA Awards seems pretty easy ... until you begin to overthink it. Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton and Kacey Musgraves lead the way in number of nominations, but it's not far-fetched to imagine all three coming away empty-handed. This is the sort of stuff that happens when there's two months to mull over the possibilities.

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Caroline Bryan
Jillian Hughes, Bombs Over Betty Photography
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Luke Bryan’s Wife Caroline Trashes Wedding Dress

The ladies tied to Luke Bryan and Rascal Flatts' Joe Don Rooney were joined by Carah Owen (Randy Owen's daughter-in-law) to trash the dress. That's Caroline Bryan in white, getting sloppy with ribs and ranch dressing while Tiffany Fallon and Owen hose her down with tequila and Budweiser. But they didn't stop there.

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Sheryl Crow
Warner Music Nashville
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Sheryl Crow, ‘Callin’ Me When I’m Lonely’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Sheryl Crow's new single 'Callin' Me When I'm Lonely' is the anti-'Easy,' as it's a big vocal showcase that leans toward sharp, jabbing emotions. The country newcomer opens up to show off a voice that's bathed in retro cool. This is a no-tricks ballad that finds a woman struggling to stay away from a guy she aches for.

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Corey Smith
Corey Smith
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Corey Smith, ‘Ain’t Going Out Tonight’ – Exclusive Song Premiere [Listen]

Singer-songwriter Corey Smith is set to release his new single 'Ain't Going Out Tonight' to iTunes on Tuesday (Oct. 15), but fans can listen to the song in its entirety now with this Taste of Country exclusive song premiere. Like all songs from his previous eight albums, the country-rocker wrote every word to this uptempo, banjo-heavy rambler.

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Category: Lubbock News
Dierks Bentley
Ed Rode, Getty Images
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Dierks Bentley Tries to Explain New Son’s ‘Procedure’ to His Daughters

Dierks Bentley is not one to overlook a teachable moment. Just hours after wife Cassidy gave birth to their son Knox, the singer was having lunch with his daughters (ages five and 2), trying to explain the differences between boys and girls and why some boys undergo a circumcision soon after birth.

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Kacey Musgraves, Lady Antebellum
Jason Merritt / Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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New Songs on the Radio – October 2013

Lady Antebellum surprised fans with a new song for the radio in October 2013. The trio announced 'Compass' would be available on the November release of the deluxe edition of 'Golden.' It's just one of a growing list of new sounds from country music's biggest stars this month. 

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Category: Lubbock News
Dierks Bentley, Jana Kramer, Billy Currington, Brantley Gilbert
Rick Diamond (2) / Andrew Goodman / Kevin Kane, Getty Images
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Tropical Nights: Boots in the Sand Getaway Tickets on Sale Now

Tickets for country music's getaway party at the Riviera Maya in Mexico will go on sale Friday (Oct. 4) morning. Dierks Bentley, Brantley Gilbert, Billy Currington and Jana Kramer are the four headliners for Tropical Nights: Boots in the Sand, the ultimate vacation escape. It's five days and four nights of nothing but white sand, blue skies and country music.

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Kacey Musgraves
Ethan Miller, Getty Images
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Kacey Musgraves, ‘Follow Your Arrow’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

That at least one publication referred to Kacey Musgraves' 'Follow Your Arrow' as a "gay anthem" speaks to how far behind country music is on the subject. The controversial single equally promotes being skinny and overweight, having a drink or staying sober, going to church or sleeping in, and smoking marijuana. All of these topics have been covered -- and accepted -- previously in the genre.

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